- Collaboration is key to becoming a climate literate nation
- More work to be done for a litter free Scotland
- It's never too early to learn about the climate emergency
- Our strategy to inspire action for our environment
- FARE Lochend - Where good news is standard
- Glashieburn's LEAF journey
- An Interview with Travel Influencer Chris Lawlor
- Climate action with hope and optimism
- The Big River Irvine Riverbank Clean
- Eating nettles and gazing at clouds: a LEAF reflection
- #TakeItBack to the start
- Dalry Primary School's LEAF journey
- Pedalling towards a sustainable future
- Chirnside Primary School's LEAF journey
- Flowerbank Early Childhood Centre's Pocket Garden Experience
- To keep Scotland beautiful we all need to take action
- Applegarth and Hutton’s LEAF journey
- Our hope for a nature positive Scotland
- Becoming a Platinum Carbon Literate Organisation
- Volunteering with KSB and loving every minute
- We are all accountable for our actions
- Hillhead students talk keeping Kelvingrove Park beautiful
- Making it easy to choose a reusable cup for takeaway drinks
- Get to know...John MacLennan
- Get to know...Sandy Scott
- How Eco-Schools benefits pupils, teachers and communities
- Community gardening for climate, nature and heritage in Cumbernauld
- Tackling the litter emergency to protect our wild isles
- Scotland isn't looking so beautiful. We can change that.
- Get to know... Green Flag Award Judges
- Collaboration and innovation to tackle marine litter
- An introduction to Kinnesswood in Bloom...
- The litter emergency
- Our charity faces the environmental challenges ahead with optimism
- Wrapping up 2022
- Biodiversity - Reflections on COP15
- Small steps to protect biodiversity
- Why Mountains Matter
- It’s not just bees and butterflies on your flowers
- Wet Wipes - What's the Issue?
- Young Reporters on the Route: The Launch of Running Out of Time
- Getting to know... Tom Brock OBE
- Getting to know...Kyle Usher
- A busy day for Upstream Battle education
- Planning a Wedding with the Planet in Mind
- 'Disposable' vapes and the damage they cause
- Climate Emergency Training provides positive opportunities for young people
- Making climate action possible for everyone
- Reasons to be positive
- Shotts is ACTing NOW on climate change
- Hope is a Garden
- Do we need the word 'pests' anymore?
- Beautiful Scotland judging - the truth
- Supporting Scotland to be the very greenest destination it can be
- Arbroath - working together, inspiring local climate action and improving lives
- Reflections of a beach manager
- I do like to be beside the seaside
- Climate Action Schools - helping young people take action
- Inspiring and empowering young people
- Climate Ready Classrooms at George Heriot's
- Data drives decisions
- Litter, fines and doing time
- Why our Web Developer Cameron loves being part of Team KSB
- It's only one
- Why join the family of It’s Your Neighbourhood?
- YoungScot Legacy Event
- Why it is the sea and SDG 14 for me
- Litter picking - a surprisingly fun group activity
- Climate Action Skills and positive action for all
- Seeing community groups thrive with Beautiful Scotland and It's Your Neighbourhood
- (What to do on) a dreich morning on the Firth of Clyde
- West Lothian Litter Pickers – How I got involved
- Scotland’s Climate Festival – Seed funding for community action
- Climate Ready Classrooms at St. Paul’s RC High School
- Scottish Book Trust representative joins Pocket Garden judging panel
- Have #YourSayOnLitter - we plan to...
- Everyone has something to say about litter – time to make it count
- Who ya gonna call?
- Why I pick up other people's garbage.
- Getting to Know...Colin
- Creative Careers: Spotlight on Heritage #NoWrongPath
- Celebrating Scotland’s best managed green and blue spaces
- Taking small steps towards a more sustainable future
- Caring for our planet
- Football’s Power to Combat Climate Change
- Our work on the COP26 Youth Climate Programme
- What’s litter got to do with climate change?
- Scotland’s Climate Festival kicks off in Falkirk
- Responsible Tourism – an opportunity not to be missed
- Climate Change Vlog by Dalry Primary School
- Failing our future?
- Our Week of Climate Action
- #ScotClimateWeek - our impacts and actions
- Protecting the sand and sea
- Another fine mess – part one
- Designing a lower carbon Scotland
- Getting to know... Lisa Snedden
- Combating climate change with information, education and training
- Litter picking 500 miles was always Gonna Be easy
- 7K for 7 Flags Challenge
- Littering less at St Joseph's Primary School in Glasgow
- Smashing litter picking targets during an unexpected stay in Scotland
- Keeping our communities beautiful
- Celebrating our brilliant volunteers
- Designing a pocket garden
- Getting to know... Nicola Smith
- East Haven Together
- It’s time to litter-ly turn anger into action
- Working in partnership to give communities a helping hand to clean up Scotland
- Why Beautiful Scotland is important to Lauder in Bloom
- We can all be climate ready
- Climate Ready Classrooms at Speyside High School
- Taking part in It's Your Neighbourhood
- Bags of opportunity for good
- Getting to know... Eve Keepax
- Lucky to live here
- A year of opportunity ahead
Alastair, our Senior Officer, Local Environmental Quality, has been with us for more than 15 years. With an extensive background in training for large public sector organisations, here he shares his insights over a decade and a half in environmental legislation.
I have worked in environmental legislation for 15 years. My role with Keep Scotland Beautiful is, amongst other things, primarily to train local authority enforcement officers in the application of the law regarding those people who commit environmental crimes.
Keep Scotland Beautiful runs several training programmes: from Nature & Biodiversity, Climate Emergency and Conflict Management to all things relating to litter and waste legislation. The training in which I am most involved concerns the latter.
It is my responsibility to keep up to date with all the legislation that covers environmental crimes so that I can advise local authority enforcement officers on how best to enforce said legislation.
Litter and waste legislation is mostly concerned with enforcement. You may have heard about (or even received!) a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) for an environmental crime – littering, flytipping or dog fouling. This is the most common type of enforcement. A FPN can be issued by officers authorised by the local authority, by the police, by SEPA officers and by rangers from the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. The amount of the FPN starts at £80 and can go up to £400. For more serious environmental crimes, such as businesses failing in their Duty of Care – which means they may not store waste securely, they may not use an authorised waste carrier or they may not keep records of the waste they produce – reports will be made to the Procurator Fiscal and when prosecuted, the penalties can be severe.
For instance, for those offenders who have been found guilty of flytipping hazardous materials, the penalty can be an unlimited fine and/or a prison sentence.
What I enjoy most about the training [is] the craic, the repartee, the wit, the blether or any other way you like to say it.
Until the lockdown in 2020 almost all our training was delivered at our Stirling offices when we tended to have a mix of local authorities attending. Over lockdown, we experimented with online training which, after a few teething pains, seemed to work very well. One of the great advantages for this was that people did not have to travel, thereby saving time, costs and, most importantly, they cut their carbon footprint.
We still deliver online training but more often we travel to a local authority to deliver in-person training. This is my preferred training format and not just because it means that my dogs cannot join in. In-person training allows for a freer exchange of ideas, better participation and a greater opportunity to get to know the enforcement officers.
I see our training role as being the go-to organisation which is always up to date with existing legislation and can feed that knowledge to enforcement teams. We are also the link for authorities where we can share good practice between them. I am often amazed by the inventiveness of some authorities’ interventions for dealing with litter and waste. Each authority works extremely hard to put in measures to prevent offending. However, those measures will not solve all the issues and the other side of that is that they must also work extremely hard to identify and to fine or to prosecute offenders. It is a tough ask and our job at Keep Scotland Beautiful is to do everything we can to help them.
After 15 years at Keep Scotland Beautiful and thousands of officers trained, what have I learned? Well, an enforcement officer/warden is a rare breed. They must be thick-skinned (yes, some members of the public are rude!), they must know the legislation, be good with people, serious about their job, confident and, most important, have a great sense of humour. So, with all that in their bags of tricks, I know I have learned more from them than they could possibly imagine.
I’d also like to say what I enjoy most about the training. It’s the craic, the repartee, the wit, the blether or any other way you like to say it. After all, there are hundreds of non-Scots who have come to Scotland, and many have decided to work in enforcement.
Penultimately, if you work in enforcement and you have not had your training (or if you are thinking of refreshing your knowledge), please get in touch. Also, it isn’t just the legal stuff we deliver. There’s all the training I mentioned in the second paragraph.
I’ll end by saying that this training blog is really a thank you to all you officers who made (and continue to make) me laugh, educated me and who work so extremely hard to keep Scotland beautiful. Thank you.